The Roll [sic] of Randomness

Today we talk about how randomness affects our enjoyment of games. It’s slanted towards game design, but also has some crunchy publisher/indie creator perspectives as well. Topics:

  • Low-randomness games
  • High-randomness games
  • Is randomness in games good or bad?
  • How does it affect your target audience?
  • Harnessing the power of randomness

Audio/Podcast:

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10 Questions to Ask Yourself When Designing a Game

Here is our podcast episode on the 10 questions you should ask yourself while designing a game:

If you’d rather not listen to it and you just want to ask yourself some thought-provoking questions about your game, here is the list!

  1. Which feeling(s) am I trying to deliver?
  2. Why would someone play or buy this game instead of others? What’s the hook?
  3. Which core element will keep people engaged in my game?
  4. Which decisions am I giving players that will keep people playing?
  5. Which types of players am I targeting for my game? And what is the weight and play time will it have?
  6. How many high-level strategies can you win with?
  7. What is the single core mechanic in my game? (everything else you can cut, if needed)
  8. How much downtime do players have?
  9. How do players interact with one another and does it fit with the theme?
  10. What is confusing players when they play?
  11. What player counts can this support? Can you expand that count?
  12. What will the MSRP be?
  13. Do players feel like they are in the universe/theme?
  14. Where will people be playing this game?
  15. What is my exit strategy for this game? Kickstarter? The Game Crafter? Selling direct? Pitch to a publisher?
  16. Can I make changes to the game to tailor it to the publisher I think would want to publish it?
  17. Is this game too similar to an existing game?

 

Trapped in a Room with Juliana Patel and Ariel Rubin

Richard interviews Juliana Patel and Ariel Rubin who created the extremely successful Escape Room in a Box: The Werewolf Experiment that is now being published by Mattel. He learns all their secrets from their 2,000+ backer debut campaign! Some specific topics:

  • Partnering with Mattel
  • Escape room game opportunities
  • Replaying escape room games
  • Playtesting an escape room game
  • Creating the puzzles
  • Lessons learned from the Kickstarter campaign
  • Finding your audience

Audio/Podcast Version: http://traffic.libsyn.com/theforbiddenlimb/BGBP064.mp3

 

References

How to Navigate Multiple Offers

This episode provides some guidelines for the situation where multiple publishers want to sign your game and how you handle it, both from the designer and publisher perspective. Specifically, we cover:

  • submitting your game to multiple publishers at the same time
  • handshake deals
  • bringing copies to a convention
  • bigger publishers vs. smaller publishers
  • asking for exclusivity
  • doing your publisher homework
  • changes to contracts
  • should I have a lawyer look over my contract?

Audio/Podcasthttp://traffic.libsyn.com/theforbiddenlimb/BGBP063.mp3

Total Recall Post Mortem

We talk generally about publishing licensed games and specifically about the unsuccessful Total Recall Kickstarter campaign.

  • Why didn’t it fund?
  • What did you do differently?
  • Likeness rights 101
  • Timing releases in a line of games
  • Hidden costs of doing a licensed game
  • Liability insurance
  • The costs of agreeing to release dates
  • Should you create a licensed game?
  • Publishing outside of Kickstarter

Podcast Audiohttp://traffic.libsyn.com/theforbiddenlimb/BGBP062.mp3

References

Total Recall Kickstarter Campaignhttps://www.kickstarter.com/projects/overworldgames/total-recall-the-official-tabletop-game

 

Ethics Mailbag

We have another mailbag episode! These topics were suggested by listeners:

  • Are environmental concerns a factor for publishers, manufacturers, and designers?
  • How can I make my game more accessible and inclusive?
  • What kind of support should publishers donate to charity?

Audio/Podcast: http://traffic.libsyn.com/theforbiddenlimb/BGBP061b.mp3

Resources:

The Overworld Games policy on charities.

Am I a Jerk if I Don’t Back My Friend’s Kickstarter Campaign?

If you’re listening to this podcast, there’s a good chance you know someone personally who has launched a Kickstarter campaign. Did you feel obligated to back it? We try to break down this social etiquette around the subject in this episode.

Audio Link: http://traffic.libsyn.com/theforbiddenlimb/BGBP060.mp3